Two visiting students from Ballymena’s US sister city in Morehead, Kentucky, received a thunderous welcome at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Braid Town Hall on Thursday when a heavy downpour began streaming through the ceiling.
The guests were just about to have coffee when the Mayor heard what she thought was thunder and running water. When she looked up, there was water coming through ceiling fittings. The guests joined Council officers in quickly moving furniture, antiques and paintings from the affected areas as a precaution and placing buckets to catch the drips.
Mayor of Ballymena, Cllr Audrey Wales, said: “It was a surprise to look up and see water coming in. I am just really glad we were in the parlour at the time. It meant we were able to act quickly and nothing was damaged. I would like to thank the students for being so helpful when the leak began and the Council staff who rapidly responded to rectify the problem. I had another reception in the Parlour early on Friday morning and there were no signs of any water damage.”
The cause of the unusual water feature has been attributed to a rogue piece of plastic in the gutters of the Braid. This was immediately removed by maintenance staff and it is hoped no further mayoral receptions will be in need of buckets and umbrellas in the future.